Town News

Catch Up with Council – April 27, 2021 Meeting

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A Warm Farewell to Town Manager Nancy Kerry

Town Council, the business community, and Town staff extended their best wishes and gratitude to Nancy Kerry on her last day as Frisco Town Manager before she moves back to her husband and family in Reno, NV. Many cited her strong and compassionate leadership throughout her tenure, and especially through the pandemic, as the reason the Town of Frisco and Frisco’s business community are in the strong position they are in now. Many noted that Nancy has left the Town a better place than when she started and will be missed by all who have had the privilege of working with her.

Frisco’s Finest Award- Don and Helen Gerstein

Mayor Mortensen, with an introduction by Frisco Events Manager Nora Gilbertson, presented the Frisco’s Finest Award to Don and Helen Gerstein for their countless acts of volunteerism in the Frisco and Summit County community. The Gersteins first fell in love with Frisco and Summit County as visitors in the 1990’s and became full-time residents in 2012. Since then, they have tirelessly volunteered in various capacities at many Town and community events. The Town of Frisco thanks them for their contributions with a Frisco’s Finest Award as they move to Eagle County to be closer to their grandchild.

Summit County Wildfire Update

Dan Schroeder, CSU Extension Director, gave a presentation to Town Council about Summit County’s wildfire prevention efforts. Wildfire is a priority issue, as longer, hotter, and drier summers have extended and intensified the wildfire season. In addition, increasing population puts a strain on local resources and the natural environment. To address this issue, Summit County voters have overwhelmingly approved taxation to fund wildfire prevention activities.

The Summit County Wildfire Council (SCWC) initiated a three-pronged prevention campaign.

  • County funded large-scale forest health and resilience projects
  • Moderate scale community cost-share grant programs
  • Small-scale property owner removal of backyard logs, branches, and sticks to be processed by the curbside Chipping Program.

The presentation focused on the success of the Chipping Program, as it has given landowners an actionable opportunity to help lessen the wildfire fuel hazard and create defensible space around their properties, and the chipped wood has been put to beneficial use as a biosolid that produced electricity for Eagle County, as well as by the Climax Mine in their reclamation program. The chipping program will return this year with significant marketing to encourage homeowners to remove their slash and place it curbside for pickup.

Main Street Pedestrian Promenade Discussion

Council gave staff direction to move forward with the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade for the summer of 2021 with a planned opening on June 18. The Promenade closing date has not yet been determined, and Council directed staff to monitor conditions and feedback to determine the best time to close the Promenade. From early June 2020 through October 2020, the Promenade allowed for expanded seating areas and retail space, while providing residents and guests the ability to access Main Street businesses, while maintaining physical distancing protocols and respecting public health.

Since 2020 considerable feedback has been received (both supportive and critical) from community members, business owners, and visitors. Currently, even though the COVID-19 vaccine has become more widely available and restrictions are loosening, there remain concerns about virus transmission and public health orders continuing to limit indoor occupancy and outdoor gatherings.

On March 1, 2021, staff opened an online survey to the community in order to gain input into whether or not the Pedestrian Promenade should return for the summer of 2021. The results were shared with Council at their March 9, 2021 meeting. There were 320 respondents total with 93 respondents identifying as having a business on Main Street, and out of those 93 respondents, 74.19% responded yes and 25.28 responded no to the question “do you want the Promenade to return for Summer 2021?”. Out of the 320 total respondents, 85.53% answered yes to that question and 14.78% answered no.

Town Council initially discussed options for Main Street and the Pedestrian Promenade at their March 9, 2021 meeting, and provided initial direction to staff to begin planning to implement the Pedestrian Promenade for summer 2021, with improvements to aesthetics, signage, traffic flow, and safety.

At that time, Council also asked staff to continue to gather input from the community regarding impacts to businesses related to closing Main Street to vehicular traffic and parking, to evaluate potential impacts resulting from the Highway 9 construction project, and develop a plan to address those issues.

For the summer of 2021, staff identified some adjustments to the setup and operation on the Promenade that would address feedback from business owners and the public, as well as staff and Council observations. These include changes to the bike lane to promote safety; closure of 3rd Avenue due to safety concerns; more attractive fencing; better signage; the addition of public art; aesthetic improvements, including more barrel lighting, shade sails, and planters; and the prohibition of amplified outdoor music performed on public property. Acoustic music would still be allowed on public property, and on private property, music whether amplified or acoustic would be subject to the existing Town noise ordinance.

Based on experiences during summer 2020 and responses from residents and business owners, Council decided that establishing the Main Street Promenade for the summer of 2021 will have an overall positive impact by honoring the feedback from the community, supporting community character, and respecting the ongoing concerns around public health.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Gap Project Final Phase Schedule

On May 3, CDOT will begin preliminary construction on the final phase of the Gap Project at the intersection of Main Street and Highway 9, which on May 10, will likely result in a lane reduction on Main Street from three lanes to two, (one straight / left turn lane onto Northbound Highway 9 and one right turn lane).

  • This lane reduction will allow pedestrians to cross Hwy 9 safely when the sidewalk is closed for construction.
  • CDOT hopes to be finished with this portion work by mid to late June, thus fully re-opening all lanes of Main Street at the intersection.

CDOT will then begin construction of the temporary roundabout at 8th Ave.

  • CDOT hopes to have this completed by the July 4th
  • This roundabout will become the primary detour route for through traffic on Main Street.
  • If this roundabout is not complete before the Promenade opens, motorists will be directed to the Water Dance roundabout to access northbound Hwy 9.

This schedule is still being updated and is subject to change as the project begins. CDOT anticipates that the project will be complete by mid-October 2021.

Responses to Requests for Proposals for Mural Art on Main Street

On March 26, 2021, staff issued a Call for Artists in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a mural on Main Street. The RFP describes the mural project as an art installation that “is intended to inspire hope and positivity, celebrate the resiliency of the Frisco community, and add creative vibrancy to enhance the pedestrian experience.”

The Town is offering $5,000 compensation for the mural design in addition to reimbursement for material costs. The RFP states that the selection of an artist will be “based on the artistic design, craftsmanship, quality of design, how well the design reflects the stated theme of the mural to inspire hope and positivity and celebrate the resiliency of the Frisco community and quality of past work.”

On April 16, 2021, the Town had received two responses to the RFP. Council decided to reopen the RFP in order to receive more submissions and asked for input from the MakeFrisco public art group before awarding a contract during the last Town Council meeting in May. Due to safety concerns, Council also directed staff to relocate the mural to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Main Street from 4th Avenue and Main Street.

Ordinance 21­05, an Ordinance Amending the 2021 Annual Budget

The Town began 2021 in a solid financial position, notably as a result of actions taken by the Town to mitigate possible financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic resiliency of the Town’s local businesses.  Revenues generated in the Town’s major funds in 2020 exceeded budget by 8%, and expenditures were well under budget, mainly as a result of capital project deferrals and the diligence of Town staff who focused on reducing expenditures during this time.

With the economic uncertainties still prevailing during preparation of the 2021 budget, however, the 2021 budget was adopted with conservative appropriations for capital projects with direction to re-evaluate the Town’s financial position in the spring of 2021.  Staff presented Council with a budget amendment with additions to revenue, additional capital appropriations, and other items not budgeted during the budget process.  Staff pointed out that many major capital projects would be impossible to schedule and/or complete this late in the year; therefore, staff recommended only those projects likely to be able to fit within contractor and staff current workloads.

The following revisions are reflected in the budget amendment ordinance:

Revenues

The budget amendment includes increases to revenue sources recommended by staff as follows:

  1. The Town is eligible for $681,000 Federal funding under the American Rescue Plan and expects to receive 50% of that amount within 30 days, with the remainder to be remitted to the Town within the next year. The budget amendment includes $340,000 (50%) as a revenue increase in the General Fund in the budget amendment.
  2. The budget amendment includes an increase in rental revenues in the Marina Fund to increase the rental revenues by $200,000, from $900,000 to $1.1M. Staff believes this revenue increase is reasonable with the increase in rental boat rates, along with the continued high demand for rental boats. 

Expenditures

The budget amendment includes changes to the 2021 budgeted expenditures as follows:

  1. Provide funding for unfilled positions and employee benefits – $454,152 – General Fund
  2. Replenish the funding to complete improvements at Walter Byron Park – $350,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  3. Restore additional funding for storm water and asphalt repair – $50,000 each – Capital Improvement Fund
  4. Eliminate $15,000 set aside to redesign the Town Hall atrium – Capital Improvement Fund
  5. Increase funding for the GAP project – $150,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  6. Add funding for the police department remodel – $600,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  7. Add funding to study viability of community ice amenity – $50,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  8. Add funding for purchase of snowcat – $235,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  9. Add funding to purchase snow compressor – $25,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  10. Add funding to purchase Nordic rental equipment – $10,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  11. Add funding to purchase skid steer – $40,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  12. Add funding for Main Street Promenade – $30,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  13. Dismantling/storage for historic cabin – $40,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  14. Reallocate funding for VIC bathroom design to Lodging Tax Fund – $25,000
  15. Carryover funding for Historic Park consultant – $25,000 – Capital Improvement Fund
  16. Increase funding for purchase of Mountainside condo – $425,000 – SCHA 5A Fund
  17. Provide funding for administrative services at the Marina – $120,000 – Marina Fund
  18. Provide funding to reorganize personnel at Frisco Bay Marina – $310,649 – Marina Fund

Council approved first reading of Ordinance 21-05, an ordinance to amend the 2021 annual budget.

General Discussion / Action on COVID­19 Response

Staff presented council a summary of the total money awarded to Frisco businesses during the second round of the Town’s business assistance program.

  • The Town of Frisco has distributed $128,634.30 in innovation grants, and $275,398 in general business assistance grants for a total of $404,032.30 in grants for this grant program which was approved by Frisco Town Council in December 2020 and closed to applications on March 31, 2021.
  • From the Colorado State funded program, co-administered by Summit County and the towns, 19 Frisco businesses received a total $93,500.

Town Council encouraged the Summit County community to get vaccinated in a push have at least 70% of Summit County adults vaccinated in order to move to Level Green.

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